PUBLiCUS Asia is starting 2019 with its first salvo into the Mekong Delta region via its selection by the Ministry of Education & Sports (MOES) of Laos to provide advice and implementation support to the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Grant No. 0503-LAO: Second Strengthening Technical And Vocational Education And Training Project (SSTVETP).
The SSTVETP is a USD 25-million grant project by ADB to support efforts to realign TVET with current and future labor market needs of Lao PDR. The project will increase poor and disadvantaged students’ access to TVET through targeted direct stipends and more dormitory spaces at colleges and will also undertake TVET promotion measures to improve the public image of TVET and enhance understanding of TVET products and services among youth, their parents, and communities.
According to Joel Wayne A. Ganibe, PUBLiCUS Asia’s Mekong Delta Regional Representative and International Expert/Project Team Leader, the project has three outputs: (1) Upgrade teaching and learning environments at eight TVET colleges (2) Improve quality and relevance of demand-driven programs, and (3) Increase access to TVET institutions for disadvantaged students.
“Our work, TVET Promotions (Package CS 08), is a critical sub-component of output 3” Ganibe explained. “The job requires not just expertise on campaigns management relying not just on smart advocacy, but also on clear grasp of development management strategies at super-systems levels and mastery of organizational transformation processes in the Lao context.”
Ganibe said Publicus Asia has full appreciation of the big strategy, the ACCESS/QUALITY/GOVERNANCE CAPACITY issues involved where actual delivery capacity and not to mention actual product relevance/quality (curriculum/certified skilled workers) interventions are still on-going. The firm comes ready as well with the tactical options of creative messaging and packaging specific to Lao cultural nuances.
“Our methodologies not just align with work being done in the other components but actually accelerates it by helping maintain cohesion and collaboration among various stakeholders.” He quipped.
The program seeks to ensure that sufficient skilled labor is available to maintain inclusive and sustainable development in the Lao PDR , thus, Publicus Asia will prepare the TVET Promotion Strategy making use of approaches and channels that support engagement with female students, ethnic and linguistic minorities and the poor, and will ensure that poor students are aware of the availability of the stipend program and how to utilize it.
The Ministry of Education and Sports (MOES) is the executing agency for the SSTVET project and the Technical and Vocational Education Department (TVED) under MOES is the implementing agency. A Project Management Unit (PMU) was established within TVED and a team of project implementation consultants is supporting MOES in implementing the SSTVET project.
The Mekong Delta Region is composed of five countries surrounded by the Mekong River. The river is the lifeblood of Southeast Asia and offers a glimpse into the long history and diverse cultures of the region. The 12th longest river in the world and the 7th longest in Asia, it flows through: China, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. As home to roughly 1,000 species of fish, 20,000 plant species, and hundreds of bird, reptile, and mammal species, the Mekong is one of the most biologically diverse areas in the world—second only to the Amazon River.
PUBLiCUS Asia is a 15 year old political consulting firm based in Manila with ASEAN as its area of practice. Its core competencies are lobbying/government relations, strategic communications, competitive intelligence, campaigns and capacity building.